Monday, November 7, 2011

A distinct absence of peach trees

Big Corp sent me down to Atlanta for a couple of days, to an office in the Peachtree Center.

I've been to Atlanta before, or at least, to a lovely northern suburb of Atlanta, to spend time with TLOML's family. So I know it to be leafy and green, populated with charming people with gorgeous accents, and with an abundance of mighty fine food. They know what to do with poultry and dairy down here (make fried chicken and waffles, that is).

I imagined the Peachtree Center to be, well, filled with peach trees. Georgia is famous for its peaches. We buy them in Chelsea Market: all the other peaches just say 'peaches' on the label, but Georgia peaches say 'Sweet Georgia peaches' on the label. The state license plate options include one with peaches on it.

And there are over 40 streets in the city of Atlanta named after peach trees. Peachtree Creek Road, Peachtree Lane, Peachtree Avenue, Peachtree Circle, Peachtree Drive, Peachtree Plaza, Peachtree Way, Peachtree Memorial Drive, New Peachtree Road, Peachtree Walk, and Peachtree Valley Road and, well, I could go on.

So Peachtree Center, in the heart of downtown Atlanta, will surely be a veritable soft fruit orchard of a place?

Alas, no. Peachtree Center is about 6 blocks of the city, between World of Coca Cola and Margaret Mitchell Square (two good Atlanta icons for different reasons), which is made up of high rises with skybridges and underground malls. The office complex my client are in has a Marriott, a Hyatt, a Hilton and a Westin all interconnected by said underground malls and skybridges. Most disconcerting going from one air conditioned marble floored hotel lobby to the next, looking for the right check in desk... They're the same, yet not the same.

I have been here for 12 hours, going from metro station to office, from office to food court, from office to hotel, without breathing fresh air. As my BigCorp colleague said, 'where's the casino? It's like Vegas without the slot machines'. I can't believe I'm looking forward to going back to the fresh air and open spaces of, um, downtown Manhattan.

Having said that, I just googled for these images and learned that there is, in the Peachtree Center mall, an 'Agatha's A Taste of Murder Mystery Dinner Theater'. Could be worth a return trip... I do love a theme restaurant after all.

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